Blanche Cox, knitting a beanie at Emu Park Branch Tuesday craft morning.
Blanche Cox, knitting a beanie at Emu Park Branch Tuesday craft morning.

QCWA Catch Up: Meet the members

IF YOU want something done – ask the busiest person because they will know how to fit it in.

Sounds like Blanche Cox, aged 93, one of the QCWA’s long time members.

“It must be more than 50 years,” she said, when asked how long her membership had been.

Blanche and her husband Arthur had nine children and lived in NSW on a cattle and sheep station at Murga between Orange and Parkes.

When the family moved to Bajool, Blanch had just sent her youngest off to school, and she needed more to do.

She quickly joined the Archer QCWA as she knew it was a great way to meet people and get involved in the town life.

Moving to Queensland from Murga had been quite a drama.

It took a week going inland on the dirt roads with 5 or 6 kids in their car (no seat belts or highways back then).

The furniture was in a truck driven by one of her brothers, and kids and goods were in another brother’s ute.

They had to camp in tents each night, and Blanche cooked for everyone in a big pressure cooker on an open fire.

The Archer Branch CWA had about seven members and the ladies enjoyed each other’s company and having morning teas together.

A lot of their time was spent in fundraising to maintain the CWA Hall.

It was the hub of the tiny rural area between Bajool and Yeppen where everyone met for dances and family games.

What a lovely social meeting place for everyone.

Arriving in Bajool, the family moved into a tiny house that had to be divided by curtains to make rooms while they saved up to build a house.

Eventually, the house was ordered and arrived on three great big trucks and was put together on the site of the old house.

Eventually, Blanche joined the Raglan QCWA when Archer Branch folded.

The hall from Archer was moved to the Calliope River Historical Village.

At Raglan, ladies would even come to meetings from Gladstone on the train for the day, and return home in the afternoon.

Over the years, Blanche has been President, Secretary and Treasurer in the Branches, and worked with other country women running raffles and catering for rodeos to fund raise for worthy causes both local and international.

The Raglan QCWA also organised and ran the local dances where the ladies provided the supper and kept the young people under their eye.

“Over the years,” she said, “I’ve been a member of several Branches.”

Blanche worked in Branch and Division Committees for a while and attended two State QCWA Conventions.

“At all of the Branches there has been lots to learn and lots to do.”

Blanche still makes hand crafted garments for disadvantaged children.

She’s knitting a beanie at the moment.

“People keep giving me wool,” she said, “so I keep knitting.”

Until this year, she has entered Branch and Division Flower Arranging, Cake Making, Pickle & Preserve and Dressmaking Competitions.

She made the dress she is wearing in her photo.

She only stopped competing this year because the COVID-19 virus has halted all of the competitions, but she hopes they will be running again next year.

When Blanche moved up to live with one of her daughters at Keppel Sands, she retired from all of the QCWA committees, but she joined the Emu Park Branch of course.

Blanche said, “I am still very passionate about wearing my QCWA badge, and most of the members weren’t wearing theirs at Emu Park.”

So she offered to ‘fine’ everyone who wasn’t wearing one.

“That worked”, she said, laughing.

Blanche is brought to Emu Park Branch every Tuesday for craft, as part of her government funded respite package.

She says it is a great group.

Everyone is always laughing and talking and making things.

“Everyone is so friendly,” she said.

“I’ve had a busy and interesting time while I’ve been in the QCWA. It’s a great way to meet people and to learn a lot of new things to make and do.”

Capricornia Division president Margaret Laughton (left) awards Chris Fleming (right) her Badge as Art Competition Convener for the coming year.
Capricornia Division president Margaret Laughton (left) awards Chris Fleming (right) her Badge as Art Competition Convener for the coming year.

COMING UP IN SEPTEMBER

MOUNT LARCOM Branch has a regular walking group: Community members are invited to join in. Gather at the Mt Larcom QCWA Hall, 4 King George Street for a 7am start, every week day. Contact us through our Facebook page or email qcwamtlarcom@gmail.com for more details. https://www.facebook.com/QCWAMtLarcom/

MOUNT MORGAN Social Gathering on Saturday, 19 September at 5pm at the QCWA Hall, 127 East Street, Mount Morgan. For more info, talk to Arlene on 0428 457 461 or email qcwamtmorgan@gmail.com

GRACEMERE Branch: HOY! The regular Hoy Mornings are back on at the RSL in James Street now, and are COVID Safe. Thursday 10 September: Morning Tea is at 9.30am Start calling at 10am. Entry $5.00. Contact Linda on 0477 611 375 if you need more information. qcwagracemerebranch@gmail.com

EMU PARK Branch is open for Craft and Patchworking every Tuesday and Thursday from 9am to midday. All welcome. There will also be Devonshire Teas at the QCWA Hall in Hill Street, Emu Park on Sunday 20 September, in conjunction with the Emu Park Markets at Bell Park. Best scones in the business guaranteed! Contact Glenys on 0429 346 864 or email cwaemupark@gmail.com https://www.facebook.com/emuparkqcwa/

Emu Park Devonshire Teas.
Emu Park Devonshire Teas.

TWILIGHT FUNCTION IN ROCKHAMPTON

On 15 September, join us at 5.15pm. 240 Quay Street, Rockhampton. We are very keen to build membership in the Rockhampton city or suburbs and would love you to meet us and hear about all of the mischief we get up to, as well as the good work we do in the community. If you are interested in friendship and fun with other women, we’d love you come along.

RSVP is required by 10 September. Contact Karen 0400 598 068 or Margaret on 0427 020 881 or email capricorniadivision@qcwa.org.au



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